Archive for July, 2012

Whoa, this looks really cool…

July 21, 2012

(iTunes screensaver on the Mac, for the curious…)


Say, that’s a good point.

July 21, 2012

Debra Saunders, in today’s San Antonio Express-News:

…outsourcing is a two-way street. Nobody here seems to think the German government should stop Volkswagen from building cars in Tennessee, and some 700,000 Americans work for U.S. affiliates of Japanese companies.

Yep. Seems no one ever stops to think about outsourcing benefiting us as well as other countries. Not only that, you have the president of the United States himself encouraging Americans to buy American-made cars…that aren’t made in America, just owned by Americans. (Many of them one-percenters! IRONY.)

And 700,000 Americans working for the U.S. affiliates of Japanese companies? I’m sure that’s quite a few more jobs than Bain Capital outsourced to other countries. Of course I could be wrong, but the point still stands that Americans benefit from outsourcing just like everyone else does. And to point the finger at Romney and Bain honestly is little more than rank political demagoguery.

But you didn’t really expect anything less from Mr. If-I-had-a-son-he’d-look-like-Trayvon-Martin…did you?

Oh, that’s exactly what we should have expected.

July 20, 2012

From the comments here:

…not a single one of the women who rank among the genre’s biggest stars (Lambert, Underwood, Swift, Scott, Perry, Nettles), most of whom fall within the age range of the social media generation who can’t *not* make public statements and several of whom very quickly went on record about the deaths of Whitney Houston and Donna Summer, has had anything to say about the Queen of the genre they now ostensibly lead.

… I honestly can’t imagine anything comparable happening among the current torchbearers in any other genre if a true icon of Wells’ stature died.

Well, to tell you the truth I couldn’t either. But there’s a reason for that.

What’s that reason, you ask? Well, unlike most of today’s “country” “artists,” artists in other genres are not only aware of their respective genres’ pasts, they are proud of that past. They all recognize and appreciate the contributions of the artists who came before them. This is just what we should have expected from all those pop and rock fans who grew up and decided to “go country,” as Bob McDill put it lo those many years ago. (I would feel no small amount of surprise if Carrie Underwood or Jennifer Nettles even knew who Kitty Wells was.) I don’t know why everyone’s so up in arms about this when that is taken into consideration. This is just one more thing you get when artists who don’t really have a connection to a genre get into it. Just like Eric Church, they can’t make it in any other genre, so they go country by default.

And once again, I’m sure Chet Flippo will weigh in on this soon with his share of righteous indignation as well, blissfully unaware of the connection between this phenomenon and letting everything be classified as “country” that walks through the doors to the record labels on Music Row.

Unarmed aggressor? Not so much…

July 19, 2012

…even when they don’t have a gun. This has been pointed out many times, although perhaps not quite like this. Recall, if you will, the old saying:

“God made all men, but Sam Colt made all men equal.”

That doesn’t only mean that everyone is equal with a gun. It also means a weak man with a gun is the equal of the strong man without one. I am not the most robust of guys even now, with my cerebral palsy. No doubt in my old age, even if I am not frail and weak, I still will be no match for some young punk who wants my wallet. And even now I am no match for one. As blogger James Rummel put it (via TSM), “It’s most important that all potential victims be as dangerous as they can.”

And a gun is the best thing to make those potential victims that way.

Make fun of him all you like…(UPDATED)

July 17, 2012

…but Rick Perry is absolutely right:

“In labeling the Texas voter ID law as a ‘poll tax,’ Eric Holder purposefully used language designed to inflame passions and incite racial tension. It was not only inappropriate, but simply incorrect on its face,” Perry charged.

Holder seems to be good at that, both actively and passively. Witness Holder’s Justice Department declining to prosecute the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation after they wielded rifles batons at Phladelphia polls in 2008.

To be fair, though, Holder and the DoJ were in all likelihood simply too busy coordinating gun sales to the Mexican drug cartels to squander the department’s resources on such a trifling matter.

UPDATE: From GomeznSA, in comments:

…the NBBP punks in Philly were ‘only’ armed with batons, not rifles. Regardless, they had ALREADY been convicted of voter intimidation in federal court via summary judgement (didn’t bother showing up – hmmm maybe they knew what he was going to do?). He declined to pursue the issue further and essentially let them off. AFAIK there were some administrative sanctions taken against them but no criminal convictions.

Administrative sanctions. Slaps on the wrist. “You better not do that again, hmmkay, please?”

Stick a fork in the Tater…

July 16, 2012

…’cause he is done:

Queensryche defeated a motion for a preliminary injunction on July 13 that would have kept it from touring and operating under the band name, AGPS Management senior manager Glen Parrish exclusively tells Billboard. The act is defending a complaint filed by former singer Geoff Tate in a Washington state court over whether he should be awarded the Queensryche name after being expelled from the group in June.

So why is it all over for Geoff Tate, you might ask, considering the actual trial isn’t for another 16 months or so? Because the Todd La Torre-fronted Queensryche now has 16 months to make the case that the brand is still commercially viable. And considering that Live Nation Entertainment signed them on the strength of the two shows they played as Rising West in Seattle, and has already gotten them two gigs with the same performance guarantees that they’d have gotten with Geoff Tate, they’ve already gotten a hell of a head start at making their case.

Truth be told, I really didn’t think it could go any other way. I didn’t read all the declarations from the people who sided with the Tates, but the ones I did read were incredibly flimsy:

“But…but…we went on vacation with the guys! Geoff Tate is the most even-tempered person I know! They made a horrible decision to get rid of him!”

Thank God the judge saw through all that. I also found this bit encouraging (emphasis mine — ed.):

Billboard published an interview with Tate on July 6 where he discussed his side of the story. We will follow up shortly with a feature about the defendants’ version of the events that led to Tate’s departure, as well as the breakneck speed that legal documents from the case keep appearing online.

Why is that encouraging? Because while a lot of the diehard fans have read the court documents and know the other side of the story, there are a lot of people who still only know Geoff Tate’s side. It might not be Rolling Stone, but it’s certainly better than nothing.

Speaking of Rolling Stone, I wouldn’t be surprised if Andy Greene, who did that Tate interview for RS, is salivating over the opportunity to get the other guys’ side of the story. Why? Because Geoff threw him under the bus in the Billboard interview by saying he was inaccurately quoted as saying that he wrote 81 percent of the Queensryche catalog as opposed to having co-written 81 percent of the catalog:

The way it’s stated in Rolling Stone is that you wrote them — as in, you completely wrote them.

Oh yeah. Well, that’s one of those little inaccuracies that get passed along through interpretation [laughs]. …

Greene came on the Breakdown Room, though, and had this to say:

 I can assure you that there were no “little inaccuracies” in my Q&A with Geoff. I have the tape and he was quoted completely accurately. He said he “wrote” the songs and never once said “co-wrote” during the entire interview.

I don’t think anyone was surprised by that, though. We’ll see what happens, but it’s pretty obvious that Queensryche has the upper hand now. I can’t wait to see and hear what they’ll do.

Wow, I can’t imagine why.

July 16, 2012

One Preston Brust, on Tim McGraw’s new single:

Danny was rockin’ a badass lick on the guitar that day. He stopped and said, ‘Boys, everybody’s telling us to not write songs about trucks or country boys and to not use the word ‘country’ …

My, I can’t imagine why they’d do that. The nerve of those people!

For the record, to give you an idea of just how low-rent this song is, its title is “Truck Yeah” and it mentions blasting Lil’ Wayne on the iPod through the “subs.” I haven’t actually heard the song, but the lyrics are bad enough. Just a sample:

“Truck yeah. Wanna get jacked up, yeah. Let’s crank it on up, yeah. With a little bit of luck I can find me a girl with a truck, yeah. We can love it on up, yeah. ‘Til the sun comes up, yeah. If you think this life I love is a little too country, truck yeah.”

(I would say I might like it better if the character in the song was blasting something like Iron Maiden, but if Brust or his co-writers were smart enough to understand and appreciate Iron Maiden they wouldn’t be writing this shit.)

Later on in the interview, Brust is quoted as saying that he felt like they had to try to “write something for the kids.” Yeah, because if anything’s wrong with modern country music, it’s that it caters too much to mature adults and doesn’t have nearly enough songs about drinking and partying.

Seriously, modern Nashville music and its creators (I refuse to call those people artists) are so intellectually bankrupt that it’s just utterly unfathomable. I suppose this is only the next step in Tim McGraw’s musical evolution from “Feel Like A Rock Star,” but it’s still a hideous thing to behold.

(h/t Country California)

Everyone knows how this could be prevented, right?

July 15, 2012

Vehicle registration and driver licensing.

What’s that? They already are? The hell you say…

According to the Express-News story, witnesses said Robert Jay Brown was chasing Armando Garza down FM 78, at times driving in the center lane to catch up with Garza before before Brown rammed him and sent him careering into Randy Nelson’s car, ultimately resulting in little Braylon Nelson getting paralyzed from the neck down and his father being unemployed because of the injuries the latter sustained in the crash.

Of course Brown is going to deny being angry and being in an altercation, but as far as I can tell the statements of the witnesses to the crash speak for themselves. I would surely hope the DA’s office goes after the felony charge, because whoever does something like that deserves a hell of a lot more than 30 days in jail.

Wow, I agree with Ruben Navarrette for once!

July 13, 2012

I do, however, have to disagree with the headline (and yes, I am pretty sure Navarrette did not write it):

Univision anchor flubs interview with Rubio

Jorge Ramos (good grief, what it is with people named Ramos?) didn’t flub the interview by any means. I am absolutely certain it went exactly the way he wanted it to. And I don’t know what else Navarrette would expect from a network that caters exclusively to those who speak Spanish.  Of course they’re going to stand up for those who come to this country illegally and resist assimilation into American culture. Navarrette is right when he says the debate should be about what is best for the United States. And, of course, it should be clear that what is best for the United States is immigration by people who come here for a better life and want to be Americans. This isn’t to say they should leave their culture at home — but, for example, when you go somewhere and have to communicate with broken Spanish and hand gestures in a majority English-speaking country, that is absolutely unacceptable.

And immigrants speaking English isn’t just to our benefit, but for theirs as well. We all know the stories of Spanish-speaking illegal immigrants getting taken advantage of are legion; if those immigrants were here legally and spoke English they would have a much easier time going to the authorities to deal with those who would do that to them.

I guess Ramos and Univision think those shady characters’ dealings with illegals are just peachy.

Shorter Melynda Price…

July 12, 2012

“If we didn’t have the Second Amendment, black men would stop killing each other!”

Nothing about the culture or anything related to it. And she’s a law professor. If that doesn’t want to make you go buy more guns, nothing will.

(h/t Kurt Hofmann)